Having had something of a break feel to it when it was first launched in 2009, the X1 has since become a true SUV, or as BMW likes to call it, an SAV, or Sports Activity Vehicle - a spacious vehicle combining the sporty feel of a BMW with all-weather driving. This latest restyling has given the X1 a new look, complete with Euro 6d-compliant engines and new technological features, with plans to launch a plug-in hybrid version in 2020.
BMW now boasts a considerable offering including no fewer than seven SAVs, ranging from the X1 to the X7. The smallest of these, the X1, which was completely revamped in 2015 to incorporate front-wheel drive to boot, gets a subtle facelift with a larger grille and air intakes, new LED headlights, three new body colours (Jucaro Beige, Misano Blue and Storm Bay - all metallic) and new rim designs - all of which bring the look of the X1 more in line with BMW's other SAVs. It is also worth noting that each variant of the X1, from the Lounge finish to the xLine and M Sport models, has its own specific visual identity.
The range of engines available with the X1 includes 16 engine-transmission combinations. The basic version - the sDrive16d - is available with an 85kW (116hp) six-speed manual gearbox and consumes just 4.4L/100km, with CO2 emissions amounting to 116g/km over a combined cycle. We got the opportunity to try the two most powerful diesel and petrol versions - the xDrive 25d and the xDrive 25i - on the roads of Bavaria. Both come with a four-cylinder engine producing 170kW (231hp) combined with an eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. The combined engine, gearbox, suspension and intelligent all-wheel drive makes this model remarkably agile with great handling and driving dynamics.
The interiors are not to be outdone, either, featuring state-of-the-art technology and very generous proportions. The rear seats can be folded down in three parts (40/20/40), with the option of sliding them forward up to 13cm. The power-operated tailgate opens into a boot with a capacity ranging from 505L to 1,550L, depending on the seat configuration, whilst the false bottom in the boot makes it possible to carry additional loads. The dashboard, meanwhile, is dominated by a central display of at least 6.5 inches (8.8 or 10.25 inches if the car is fitted with a navigation system), with a rich and diverse infotainment system that can be controlled by voice or touch.
2020 will also see the introduction of a plug-in hybrid version of the BMW X1 in the form of the X1 xDrive 25e (with fuel consumption from 2.0L/100km over a combined cycle and emissions from 43g/km). The battery will have a gross energy capacity of 9.7kWh and will be able to travel over 50km on electrical power alone.